Tips for Common Admission Test(CAT)
, IIMB, Bangalore
First of all I would like the person to be sure of him/herself, if he/she is serious in at all joining the course; because this amounts to a lots of pressures, both mentally and physically for at least 1.5 years before you Finally take your electives in the final year. This is not to discourage the aspiring candidates from giving it a try. What I essentially mean is that -Think before you Leap-...there might be other avenues in life also apart from doing MBA. Again I am not trying to demean MBA profession in any manner, but trying to help one decide as to what one wants in life.
Let me get started by how to go about this.
1) Getting the CAT application form.
2) Preparing for the written exam CAT
3) Preparing for the interviews and Group Discussion (GD)
I would rather begin with - Preparing for CAT - first as this calls in for most attention. As far as study material is concerned one might need it or may not need depending on ones ability to peacefully manage the whole process. But I would seriously advice that one should get some prior practice at tackling the questions at CAT since they are the -Time- issues makes the entire difference of make or break. The study material can be procured from
IMS (Institute of Management Studies),
1/45, Tardeo A.C. Market,
Mumbai - 400 034.
Tel: 4955000 / 4954637 / 4942855
The course includes roughly 4-5 packets covering areas in Problem Solving,Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension and would cost approx. Rs.3000/-; this would further enable you to enroll for GD/ Interview practice sessions hosted in your city by the IMS staff. I would say that one should assess ones ability in all the sections by giving more practice Tests, so as to assess ones strength or weakness and concentrate and devote more time accordingly. Mostly people from Engg. Background tend to do well in quantitative part (Problem solving & Data Interpretation) while others from Arts do well in qualitative part (Verbal ability & Reading Comprehension). Please forgive me if I hurt any of your feelings. So put up more effort accordingly. In my case I took up reading comprehension early since I found my skills inadequate at that stage, the best time to start preparation is around July or so. So that you get adequate time for all the 3-4 packets. Do not get demoralized or discouraged when you score badly. It is just the case with many of us and you can improve that by more and more practice. Keep this thing in mind - CAT is more a speed of time rather than speed of ability to solve problems" - since by practice you can Just guess the answers and save time to attempt the more difficult ones and enabling your chances to get through even more. Just keep one thing in mind that do not spend too much time on one section. Just try to attempt a balanced questions in all sections, this greatly improves you chances for being called for the interview. Last of all don't panic during the Examination.
2) Even before you get a call, get started by having mock GDs /interview sessions with your friends in a smaller group of 4-5 initially so that it increases your confidence to present yourself well, then according to the ease you can increase your group size, but I would say that a maximum of 8 people in a group is decent. Too many spoil the discussion. If you are enrolled for the IMS course, as I stated earlier, you are entitled for the mock GDs/Interview sessions that they hold free of cost(actually that cost is included in the course fee). So do make it a point to attend a few (if you can not make it to all of the practice sessions of GDs/Interviews). It surely helps to open oneself and present oneself. But do not attend for any sessions just two or three days before your CAT GDs/Interviews since it can both act a disaster or morale booster. Depending on how you performed in your last mock GD/Interview.
3) You have to keep looking for the advertisements in the newspapers for the CAT form. It is usually out in the first week of September. You can also write to the respective institutes to seek the form. All these will be mentioned
In the advertisement.
About the GD/Interviews:
It goes like this
1) Read Newspaper (ET-Editorial if possible. I know ET is initially hard to understand but it helps.), Magazines to keep you updated on the news front.
2) Form a small group of say 4-5 between your friends so that you are Comfortable and are able to present yourself well...later you can go for an increased size of 8 at the most.
3) The probable questions for GDs can be anything ranging to News items on any front i.e. Political (The present Govt.), Technological (Dot coms), Environmental (Ozone or reduced emissions etc). The topics can be plainly simple also in the sense covering topics like -grass is greener on the other side, unity in diversity, effect of multinationals in India, satellite invasion on Indian Culture etc. , but the essence of GD remains that you bring out your ideas clearly in a structured manner.
4) You can as well initially practice before a mirror so as to observe your body language as well as the comfort, with which you can speak on a topic, actually this comes handy at times, since you know where to improve upon, ask your friends for feedback.
5) Do mock interview with friends. Questions could relate to work experience or purely theoretical based on your academic qualifications.
- Bring out at least 5 strengths or weakness ( try to mug 5 strong/weak on your part supporting each with an example. They might just ask to corroborate what you stated with facts or examples from your life)
- Why do you want to do mgmt.( You might have to really think about this , come out with a good answer, memorize it well. Could be like this: I want to explore new areas, which interest me, build competency in them or something else also)
-Who has been the inspiration to do MBA and why? (You are supposed to highlight about the person and what influenced in taking the decision)
-- Now that - Jharkhand - is formed ? What are your views on its formation? ( you are supposed to know about its history, how will its formation help the upliftment of adivasis etc.)
--Which Tribe do you belong to? (you are supposed to know a brief idea about your tribe , the meaning of your title etc.)
--What are your interest? ( again mug the answers....if you say you play football, then be prepared to face any questions on world football, actually this is a good area where you can direct the interview)
---Academics...if you do not have any work experience then prepare one or two area of your interest in your academics. They usually give the candidate his /her choice of favorite subjects.